Submitted by WorldAwayTweedy t3_z6dnlv in nosleep

I flew out to New York some nights ago for my good friend’s wedding. Despite a relatively turbulent flight filled with constant rerouting, the trip has otherwise been life-changing so far.

I don’t travel often - my career is pretty demanding and free time is a rarity, so I figured this trip would be a good way to kill two birds with one stone. I would head to New York early to check out some awesome and iconic sights, and then I’d segway into attending this major milestone for one of my dearest mates.

The hotel that I’m staying at: Hotel Salvus, is pretty damn awesome. The rooms are gorgeous, the service is fantastic, and there’s a real nice flair to the space, for lack of a better term. Coming back to a place like this night after night, after hours of sightseeing in NYC, was an absolute treat.

Of all of the interesting things about the hotel, the one I have to call out the most is the lobby. It is sprawling! Huge. Gorgeous. It has a breathtaking bar area, a luxurious restaurant area, and a large seating space adorned with some gorgeous furniture. It is a massive, 360 degree area that has exits all around it, and of course, a sizable front desk area with lots of eager employees at the helm. You could take the hallways leading out to the exits or up to the elevators if you’d like, but it always felt fun to pass through the large middle area of the lobby and soak in some of the fun energy. On top of that, most of the hallways were generally quite empty, so it felt nice to be where all the action was.

What I loved, more than anything, was that it was always lively in the lobby.

It’s 11PM and I’m gonna leave my room for a spontaneous romp around the city? No worries - I’ll pass through that lobby and I’ll see people jovial, sharing drinks, eating great food, swapping stories and having a ball.

I come back at 2AM? Great! People are still there, still having good times.

I love this city, I thought to myself. I could only imagine what sorts of adventures these folks were going to have here during their travels.

So… it had been an awesome trip so far, and it was now the night before the wedding activities were about to start. I was heading to my room after another successful night of exploring the city. I trekked through the lively bar area in the lobby, and did a double take when I heard of the bartenders call out to me:

“Ahh you’re looking a little glum, Peter.”

Hah. I do have a resting sad-face. Good catch, sir.

“Name’s not Peter! It’s Kevin actually!”

The folks sitting at the bar started to laugh a little bit. An elderly woman seated near the bartender shot me a smile. “Sounds like the newbie wants everyone to know his name! Maybe he’ll even sit down and join us!” she said, playfully.

“Ahh, I’ve got some plans that I –”

That’s when another older gentleman in a brown leather jacket interrupted. “Ahh sit down and have a drink, you have nowhere else to be!”

Fuck it. This was kind of what I was hoping would happen. It felt like everyone here was having a good time with each other, so it felt nice to be invited to the festivities.

I sat and joined everyone there for what was a very fun few hours. They asked me about what brought me here and why I was visiting, and I have to say, they were incredible listeners. Drinks were on them (hell yes), and as someone who doesn’t get to spend a lot of time just “going with the flow”, a spontaneous night of drinking with strangers was just what the doctor ordered. It was a well-needed reprieve from my usual life of “work hard, save money, you can relax later.” I was on holiday. And to have such worldly folks hanging off my every word was a good feeling.

Off the heels of a fantastic night on an already fantastic vacation, I went up to my room, ready to call it a day. Wedding season was going to kick in very soon, so I figured it’d be smart to get some extra shut-eye.

I entered my room. As I changed into my sleeping clothes, I noticed an enclosed envelope on my bedside table. It was tucked under a plastic display that had some generic hotel policy stuff on it.

Interesting! Maybe some sort of coupon or “Thank you for staying with us!” note?

Not ever being one to take my time in opening up gifts, I snatched the envelope, opened it, and gave the letter inside a read. I was expecting to see some fancy letterhead, but instead, what I found in this envelope was a scribbled note on a piece of paper that looked as if it had been torn out of an old notebook. It read:

By now, you probably have some sense of what’s going on.

My best advice is to be very mindful about your remaining hours of tranquility. Assuming you’re reading this on Thursday night, you have about 24 hours remaining.

The hotel rules are mostly accurate. That said, no one can actually promise you that suicide will help you escape.

If you want to talk, I’m the guy with the red jacket in the lobby.

Best wishes


I was aware that this was likely a sinister prank by someone, but it still felt unbelievably intrusive. I wasn’t sure if it was the guest who stayed in this room before me deciding to pull a trick on me, or if it was a room service person who had a morbid sense of humor. Whatever it was, it felt a bit extreme.

I pondered it over for a moment, and then left my room, went into the empty hallway, and headed towards the elevator. I wanted to report this. I wanted to get it resolved and out of my brain as fast as possible so that I could have a good night’s sleep.

It was odd. Even though I was something like ~5 floors above the main lobby, it felt like I could hear the buzz and sound of the main floor much, much closer to me than I knew it was.

I arrived at the ground floor and went right up to the front desk staff, letter in hand. There they were, fully attentive and bright as always. I felt a bit ashamed coming up to them with something negative to report, but I figured it had to be done.

“Hey, sorry, I just needed some help. Saw something weird in my room –”

I stopped as I saw both of the two front desk workers eye the envelope in my hand. They whispered to each other, and then turned their attention back to me.

“What can we do for you, sir?” they asked.

“I, uh, yeah, so I had this letter show up on the table in my room, it had some weird stuff written on it, and it said it was from the guy in the red jacket?”

The hotel worker nodded. He’s heard this one before, I thought to myself. He subtly rolled his eyes before responding.

“We’ll, uh, take care of this immediately sir. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.”

The front desk worker nudged his colleague and they both made their way into the lobby. They looked back at me with a quick nod, sort of signaling a “wait right there” message, and I watched them head to the lobby area. They walked towards a solitary man donning a red jacket sitting in a large seating area, alone. He stuck out like a sore thumb. Couldn’t miss him.

I’m not sure what compelled me to do this, but I decided to walk over to them to catch their conversation. When I arrived, they were wrapping up, but I could still hear snippets of their back-and-forth: the hotel staff saying that “it wasn’t his place to influence guests” and him saying “I got it, I got it - sorry!”.

As they saw me arrive, the gentleman in the red jacket turned to me and spoke.

“Nice to meet you Kevin. I’m sorry about the letter.”

The front desk workers looked at me. Their eyes read - “are we all good here?” - I shot them a moderately confused nod.

“All good.” I said back. The staff made their way out of the lobby and back to their desks. I continued to stand near the man in the red jacket.

“Mind if I sit?” I asked him. He nodded. I took a seat.

“So, uh, how’d you know my name again?” I asked.

He snickered.

“I overheard all of you at the bar earlier tonight. Sounds like you guys were having a great time.”

He motioned to the crew of elderly folks who were all seated at the bar close to us. As he looked over, they noticed me and started cheering. I heard a smattering of their different voices:

“Hey! Kevin’s back!” / “Oh Look it’s Kevin!” / “Join us man, let's make it a late night!”

The gang was still all there, as welcoming and excited as ever.

The man in the red jacket started laughing.

“Am I meant to believe you still don’t get it, yet?” he said.

He continued silently snickering to himself. It was annoying.

“Hey man, if you have a penchant for leaving incredibly inappropriate letters in people’s rooms, I want to let you know that –”

He interrupted me:

“I’m trying to help you. Clearly you’ve been in la la land. That’s not necessarily all on you. The hotel doesn’t always make it super clear. They’re trying to help, but you have to pay attention and actually read the crap they give you with your room key or the stuff they leave in your room. Most people don’t realize it immediately, and since others aren’t really allowed to say too much, bad things happen. So, if you want the short explanation: you can’t leave this place.

Hahahaha. Right. As I’d suspected, this guy was just a freak with a sick sense of humor.

“And why is that? Am I gonna be… absorbed into the hotel, The Shining style? Are we following Hotel California rules? Let me guess, I can check out anytime I’d like, but I can never lea–”

He interrupted my snark with an exasperated groan.

“Let me rephrase it, smartass. You shouldn’t leave. You very much can. I’ve seen you leaving constantly. On your merry way, every single day. But… very soon, you should be stopping that,” he said, while pointing all across the main floor to all of the exits surrounding us.

Before I could respond, there was an awkward pause. The folks at the bar were heating up with laughter. They were really into their conversation. Loud. I found a gap where they quieted down and I continued –

“And why is that? If I leave the hotel, am I gonna be caught in some sort of sinister happening that takes place in New York City this time of year? Are there… ghosts trolling the streets? Gremlins, maybe?” I said.

“This isn’t New York. Asshole.”


He leaned in closer.

“This isn’t New York. It may look like it, sound like it, taste like it, but it’s not New York.”

This guy was fucking with me. It was the one single “not great” thing that'd happened on this trip so far, and at this point, I was over it.

“Buddy, I get that you like to play pranks on people, but this is getting –”

He got up from his seat.

“Listen. I did my part. I’m not a talker, and this conversation’s gonna go in circles, so let me just leave it at this: whether you’re a superstitious fucker or the most grounded son of a bitch there is, just be sure you’re back inside tomorrow well before 8PM. I saw you when you first came in. We all did. Five days ago. Tomorrow marks your six day anniversary. I’d recommend playing it safe. Best wishes,” he said.

He looked at the exit doors. And then back at me.

“Once you make it to then, I think you’ll understand.”

And with that, he got up and walked off, leaving me with a strange, unsettling feeling. While he said his words with conviction, my gut didn’t feel great about this guy. I didn’t buy it.

I got up to head back to my room when I noticed the folks at the bar all looking at me, and all lighting up as I walked past. Fuck it, the bar lobby is always a good time. I needed to shake off the bad energy.

As I made my way to an open bar seat, the bartender gave me the same line he said to me earlier in the night:

“Ahh you’re looking a little glum, Peter.”

“It’s uh, still Kevin, but nice to see you again sir!”

I plopped down at the lively bar area. The elderly woman I spoke with the earlier kicked it off again -

“You got any new stories for us, Kevin? Maybe tell us what you do for a living?”

I laughed. They were odd but endearing. I rattled off random anecdotes and stories, and again, the group was great at asking follow-up questions, listening carefully, and laughing at every joke I said. Even the folks at the far end of the bar who couldn’t hear me seemed to be having a pretty good time just by me being there. While being the life of the party was nice, it still couldn’t shake the weird pit-of-my-stomach sensation I had from speaking with the man in the red jacket.

After about an hour of hanging out, I decided to leave and go up to my room. As I made my way to the elevator, I looked back to the folks in the lobby. They remained lively. Loud. Drinking. Immersed in conversations. They smiled at me as I looked back. I continued on my way, but thought to myself:

The lobby feels safe. I want to stay there.

I made it back to my room. My friends were gonna arrive very late that night, and so we were all gonna meet up together tomorrow. I made sure to focus on getting a good night’s sleep and tried to keep my mind off of the weird happenings I’d run into that day.

I slept in, and woke up the next day, completely fresh and ready for the day ahead of me. Or so I thought.

I started with my normal morning routine. Splash my face with some water. A big stretch. Cup of joe from the coffee machine in my room. Spend some quality time waking up before checking my phone. This was holiday time. Less screens, more mindfulness.

I pulled the window curtains and looked outside. I admired the beauty of the city.

This isn’t New York? Hah! Could’ve fooled me, you psycho.

After a tranquil moment, I opened up my phone. I was excited to dig into what our plans for today were. My friends were wholly responsible for where we were going to meet, what we were going to do, etc. - in the spirit of my holiday, I was once again ready to “go with the flow.”

I looked at my phone. The group text conversation with my friends was blowing up. They were all downstairs in the lobby. Awesome. Glad they all made it okay. I texted them to let them know I’d meet them at the bar, and I was on my way.

I left my room, went down the empty hallway, and made my way to the elevator. The words of the man in the red jacket were starting to float around in my brain -

The hotel doesn’t always make it super clear. You have to pay attention.

I got in the elevator. The doors closed in front of me.

I decided to properly take in my surroundings during this short trek to the main floor, and noticed a large advertisement in the elevator. I read it carefully.

Hotel Salvus - You’re Not Just Safe! You’re With Friends!


Ding! The doors opened and I was on the ground floor. Dazzling and gorgeous as ever, with an attentive crew working the front desk, and that same gang of folks hanging out in the lively middle area of the lobby.

I walked towards the bar, and again, the “usual suspects” there noticed me and lit up immediately.

It dawned on me that a lot of these folks were drinking very early in the day. I mean, shit, it was like 11AM. And I’d seen some of these folks drinking into the late hours of the night before too.

The group started up as they always did:

“Kevin!” / “Got some stories for us big Kev’?” / “Man of the hour!”

I sat amongst these strangers, while simultaneously checking my phone minute by minute, and scanning my surroundings for my friends. My friends kept saying they were at the bar, but I couldn’t see them anywhere. It was alright though. The lobby felt safe. The lobby was alright.

Jesus - I noticed that my inner monologue was getting stranger… Why was my gut feeling continually (almost intrusively) telling me that the lobby was safe?

I continued checking my phone and looking around for them, while haphazardly answering the questions of the folks at the bar, and riffing off of their anecdotes. It was the same folks as before - the elderly woman, the bartender, the man in the brown leather coat, and other familiar faces that had grown to become mainstays here.

“What’s new in your world, Kevin?!”

“Oh not much, really –”

“You know, I came here with Debbie, you know Debbie, there she always goes wandering off, I shoulda kept an eye on her – ”

“That’s great, always good to come with company – ”

“Looking a little glum, Peter –”

“I’m Kevin, but it’s cool, you can call me Peter if you want –”

I was barely attentive, and just continually eyeing my phone. My friends kept insisting they were right here, grabbing drinks from the bar. Was there another bar inside that I had completely missed or something?

I continued lounging around, and to my continual surprise, even my half-assed “heart not in it” answers to the bar folks were being received very positively. I guess they all just liked my vibe?

Fighting off thoughts about scary hotel folk-tales or fears that maybe I was dead and this was some sort of purgatory, I got up from my seat and headed out to one of the exits. Even with the man in the red jacket’s warnings in the back of my mind, I had some time right. Right?

I texted my friends to let them know I’d meet them at the front entrance.

I opened the doors and went into the outside world.


Things were fine! I took a stroll around the neighborhood, I smiled at strangers. This was still New York. Of course it was.

I unfortunately still couldn’t find my friends (the area was so large that we came to terms that maybe we were all confused about where we were and needed to jump on a video call soon), but I still enjoyed my hours in the city, remaining diligent of the time and keeping my eyes peeled for more responses from my friends.

I made my way back to the hotel at 6PM sharp. Let’s arrive early, I thought to myself. I won’t tempt fate.

I arrived, and walked right on through the lobby past all of the enthused strangers I’d come to know over the last few days.

I made my way up to my room. I sat on my bed. I was ignoring texts and calls from my friends at this point. I wanted to wait until it was past 8PM. Once I knew everything was okay. Then we could all meet up again.

The minutes passed by excruciatingly long.

What was I doing? This was stupid. This anxiety wasn’t warranted - red jacket guy was just fucking with me. Everything is fine. I’m sure me and my friends are all just lost and need to look at a map or something.

I took a deep breath, letting the time pass.

It was 7:40 PM. Fucking hell. Time wasn’t moving fast enough.

To get my mind off of everything, I made a cup of coffee and explored the hotel room.

I pulled the curtains back and looked outside - still gorgeous. Still New York, baby.

I explored the drawers and cupboards in the room. All empty. Fair enough.

I scanned the room. Bed. Closet. A quaint-looking bedside table with a plastic display on it with some generic hotel language.

I wasn’t sure if my mind was playing tricks on me, but it still felt like I could still hear the buzzing of the lobby. The music, the banter, glasses clinking… the lobby was saf–

Goddamnit. My inner monologue was seriously starting to slip away from me.

I was probably spending too much time there. I could still hear the bartender in my head saying “Ahh you’re looking a little glum, Peter,” and the elderly woman saying “Oh, Kevin’s stories are marvelous - always a thrill to hear new stories!”. The sounds were so vivid, it almost felt like all of them were directly downstairs from me or something.

7:55 PM. I continued exploring. I opened another drawer.


A laminated sheet of paper.

And a gun next to it.

What the fuck? I could feel myself shivering a little bit. My heart was racing.

I pulled the curtains back again to peek outside at New York. I needed to ground myself. Yep, it was still there. Still New York.

It’s all okay. Maybe just something the last guest left in this room.

I returned to the drawer. I read the sheet next to the gun.

Its title was: A Guide To Quick And Effective Suicide! By Hotel Salvus

Nope. Didn’t need that in my life. Just ignore it. Juuuuuuuuust ignore it.

7:59 PM. Staring outside. Still New York.

And there it was.


Then 8:01 PM. 8:02PM. 8:03 PM. It was all okay.

Knock knock knock.

Fuck. Someone was at the door.

I was on autopilot at this point. I grabbed the gun from the drawer. I looked outside my door’s peephole. It was the man in the red jacket.

I’d had enough of this bullshit. Trembling, I opened the door and immediately pointed my gun at him.

His hands shot up above his head instantly.

“Hey I-I’m sorry I just –”

I cut him off.

“Stop fucking with me!” I shouted.

“I’m not, I swear, I’m not, I was sorry that I was –”

Shit. He looked scared. All of the fears I’d been pushing to the back of my mind were coming to the forefront. I asked him -

“Am I dead?! Is this like purgatory or something?!”

“No! No you’re not dead. You’re still on Earth, you’re –”

“What’s with the weird shit around the hotel! Why is everyone in the lobby all the time?! For fucks sake, I’m pointing a fucking gun at you and shouting in the hallway and there’s no one else here!”

He kept his hands up. He took in a deep breath and he answered.

“The lobby’s the only place that drowns out the sounds. That’s why we’re all down there… why we’re always down there.”

“The sounds?” I asked.

“Fucking hell, please don’t shoot me. I have no idea what’ll happen if I die,” he said.

“What does that even mean?!”

“Didn’t you read the guides in your room? On your bedside table? The thing I put my envelope under?!” he said back, nervously shouting.

That bullshit “hotel rules” guide on the table in the plastic casing? No… I guess I didn’t.

I backed into the room and slammed the door behind me. I put my gun on the bedside table. I read over the plastic display’s generic hotel guidelines.

Guidelines for Hotel Salvus

Six days of tranquility - on us! We strongly discourage guests from leaving the hotel after the tranquility period has passed. The tranquility period cannot be extended.

Do not impede people’s autonomy - their decisions are theirs and theirs alone.

If you choose to kill yourself, or if you die of natural causes, it is possible that you can escape this fate.

Drinks are free! Let our bartender extraordinaire take care of you. Tell him Peter sent you.

No smoking in the lobby please.

Have a wonderful stay!

*Hotel Salvus cannot fully assure that you will be able to escape.

Before I could process what I’d read, I heard it.

The sounds.

I could feel them inside me. It felt like the whole world was shaking. Like my soul was shaking.

Like banshees. Shrieking at their absolutely highest pitch. Flooding my senses. I pulled the curtains aside and looked outside the window…

It wasn’t a city anymore. It wasn’t anything. Just a never-ending space that stretched as far as I could look. The space had colors of thick black and crimson red all around it. I continued staring to catch the sight of anything that looked familiar. Off in the very far distance, shrouded by the fog of black and red colors, I swore I could see the empire state building.

What the fuck is this?

Fuck. The noises. I had to get away from them. I backed away from the window in fear. I stumbled out of the room.

The man in the red jacket was still there.

“You’re hearing it now, aren’t you?” he said.

I was emotional.

“Where the fuck am I man?!”

He helped me to my feet.

“Let’s drown out the noise first.”

We walked down the hallway, into the elevator, and down to the ground floor. The noises were everywhere. A choir of it. It was amplified. Overwhelming. I could feel it in the center of my head. All around me.

We emerged into the lobby. The familiar music and liveliness.

He was right. It was drowning out the noise, little by little.

The lobby is safe.

The group of usual guests at the bar lit up as we rounded the corner. Everyone was there, seated. Smiling as we arrived.

I made it to the bar. With the man in the red jacket beside me.

The bartender greeted us.

“Ahh you’re looking a little glum, Peter.”

I didn’t dignify it with a response this time. I just sighed. At least, the screeching was somewhat blocked out. I looked up at the bartender. He wasn’t really looking at me. He was looking past me. To the exit doors surrounding us on the main floor.

I turned around and looked at the exits.

With the backdrop of a never-ending space of crimson red and pitch black, there it was. Them. Pressing up against the doors. Wanting to be let inside.

“Come on Kevin, tell us some new stories!” said the elderly woman.

I ignored it.

“I came with Debbie, shoulda kept my eyes on her, but I lost her” said the man in the brown leather jacket.

Ignored it. The man in the red jacket started speaking:

“Peter is the bartender’s son. Years back when they first arrived, Peter stayed outside past the tranquility period. He didn't know what it meant at the time.”

He motioned to the others seated with me.

"Some people have been here longer than others. Many of them lost someone they traveled with to the outside. Didn’t realize the severity of the tranquility period. And now, they’re all here. In the lobby... looking for distractions. To drown out the noise."

I scanned the bar. Everyone was smiling and cheering. But I saw the crinkles of desperation in the corners of their eyes. Something I didn’t notice before. They had to be loud. To drown it all out.

“Where… are we?”

The man in the red jacket took a moment to really think.

“We’re still here. On Planet Earth. From the discussions all of us have had at the bar, it sounds like we all had the same thing happen on our trip here. At some point, late in the flight, the pilot had to re-route due to turbulence.”

Shit. That happened to me too.

“And… we ended up here. Very, very similar to New York by all accounts. At first, anyways. Heck, if you stare out hard enough into the strange horizon surrounding us, you can see little hints that NYC physically ain’t that far from us. But right now, we’re trapped. Not in purgatory... very much ourselves, and very much alive. But. If we leave this building, we’re at the whim of whatever’s out there. And whatever’s out there… doesn’t seem to be very friendly.”

I looked outside. The noises were coming to the forefront again. Those shrieks. At first, it sounded like evil creatures. Banshees, demons, something in that universe. But something about the sounds was starting to become clear to me… there was almost a human quality to them.

“Ahh you’re looking a little glum, Peter.”

I could sense the lump in his throat as the bartender said it again. Looking straight outside. Straight at something. The remnants of someone familiar begging to be let in.

As I watched the chaos outside the exits, I turned my attention back to the folks around me. The loud anecdotes and conversations and stories and drinks designed to drown out the noise.

My phone continued blowing up, with calls and texts from friends and family, but I ignored them. None of that was important right now.

Soon, I was going to formulate a plan. Figure out exactly where all of us were, and see if there was some way we could get out of this place.

In the meantime, I owed the man in the red jacket a drink, for saving me from what seemed to be a hellish eternal fate. No, it wasn’t a celebration, a wedding, or a holiday anymore, but…

It was okay. The lobby is safe.



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fluentinsarcasm_ t1_iy0zyqb wrote

Keep us updated, stay in the lobby. And enjoy your stay!


SmokyJosh t1_iy1intl wrote

Try video calling your friends maybe. What does your GPS say?


bunny_bard t1_iy1t3ip wrote

I know you can't escape the sounds upstairs, but you should probably look and see what other instructions or such you've missed. Maybe there's more information?


SteamingTheCat t1_iy25g5u wrote

Talk to the staff more. They might know more than you think. Can you break into a managers office? Janitorial closet? Can you go up to the roof?

Oh and bring a friend. You can share stories!


IncredulousCockatiel t1_iy2hb3f wrote

Oh man the red jacket guy really fucked you, he could have at least told you to buy as much technology as you could that would allow you to drown out the sounds. Start a karaoke night, something, anything. I hope you can find a way out that isn't death.


clownind t1_iy222q9 wrote

This sounds like my personal hell.


Zak_The_Slack t1_iy5kpl5 wrote

Most likely a dimensional shift. Turbulence on an airplane is a common form for people to accidentally shift. If you had any contact with anyone else from the plane, contact them immediately and find out what they’re doing. If they’re fine, then you’re the only one who shifted.

I’d recommend staying in the hotel. There’s a possibility that someone comes in and knows how to shift back or escape in a way that won’t kill you. Otherwise, enjoy your time and free drinks. You don’t have to worry about work, so imagine this as your retirement.

Stay safe.


Shadowwolfmoon13 t1_iybhmc5 wrote

Sure your turbulence didn't shift you to HOTEL CALIFORNIA? Maybe its the NY version! You can check in but can never leave! Don't think your friends can help since you seem to be on another plain!